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For our third bit of Valve news today, they also recently announced that their Mesa shader compiler "ACO" had a bit of an upgrade recently as well.

Quick Reminder: ACO is a new Mesa shader compiler for AMD hardware, announced by Valve earlier this month. It's aimed as a replacement for LLVM and its main two goals are best-possible code generation for game shaders, and fastest-possible compilation speed.

Announcing the recent update on Twitter, Valve developer Pierre-Loup Griffais said:

ACO now has vertex shader support, which helps bring down the compile times even further. Support has been pushed to our testing packages, along with some VS-specific instructions: https://steamcommunity.com/app/221410/discussions/0/1640915206474070669/

Griffais included this image, to show just how much difference it makes against the original LLVM, then a previous version of ACO and the latest ACO with Vertex Shader support. The results really do speak for themselves in this case:

Valve said that while it's currently only targeting the RADV Vulkan driver, they do intend to look at supporting RadeonSI later as well.

It's truly incredible to see the effort Valve is constantly putting in to improve Linux gaming. With Steam Play, xrdesktop and this too things are ridiculously exciting right now for Linux enthusiasts.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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12 comments
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X6205 31 July 2019 at 11:19 am UTC
Not sure if i understand this.. It surely looks great, but if shaders are compiled only on first run and Steam client has even his own shader cache for distributing shaders, why they are putting man-hours into this? Does it improve also in-game performace after all shaders are compiled?
fatino 31 July 2019 at 11:26 am UTC
X6205Not sure if i understand this.. It surely looks great, but if shaders are compiled only on first run and Steam client has even his own shader cache for distributing shaders, why they are putting man-hours into this? Does it improve also in-game performace after all shaders are compiled?
I'm not an expert but from what I've read it outputs more optimized shaders which benefits performance.
lejimster 31 July 2019 at 11:36 am UTC
X6205Not sure if i understand this.. It surely looks great, but if shaders are compiled only on first run and Steam client has even his own shader cache for distributing shaders, why they are putting man-hours into this? Does it improve also in-game performace after all shaders are compiled?

As fatino said, the shaders are not only compiled faster, but are more efficient which results in higher frame rates. Also, features such as early discard in DXVK/D9VK works with ACO, boosting performance and reducing stutter.

Some games are totally unplayable with LLVM because of stuter are starting to become playable because of valves work with ACO. Long may it continue =D.
YoRHa-2B 31 July 2019 at 12:26 pm UTC
X6205Does it improve also in-game performace after all shaders are compiled?
It actually does in a lot of cases. Usually not by much, but there are a few games that run much faster than with LLVM.

There are other benefits as well, like actually getting bugs fixed and features added in a timely manner and not having to wait up to 6 months for a new LLVM release (and then another 6+ months for it to roll out in actual distributions). DXVK's early discard optimization is a good example, it just doesn't work on LLVM, with ACO it's fine and ACO even implemented VK_EXT_shader_demote_to_helper_invocation recently.

And short compile times are important for many games running through DXVK and D9VK, some more than others, even with all the shader cache stuff that Steam does nowadays and is going to be doing in the future. Also a friendly reminder that not all popular games are on Steam.


Last edited by YoRHa-2B at 31 July 2019 at 12:28 pm UTC
mylka 31 July 2019 at 2:44 pm UTC
X6205Not sure if i understand this.. It surely looks great, but if shaders are compiled only on first run and Steam client has even his own shader cache for distributing shaders, why they are putting man-hours into this? Does it improve also in-game performace after all shaders are compiled?

he tried it with GTA5
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8LMH9UP-XO0

dont expect a lot, but around 5fps more is not bad

i use valves ppa since it was released and had no troubles
kuhpunkt 31 July 2019 at 5:01 pm UTC
mylka
X6205Not sure if i understand this.. It surely looks great, but if shaders are compiled only on first run and Steam client has even his own shader cache for distributing shaders, why they are putting man-hours into this? Does it improve also in-game performace after all shaders are compiled?

he tried it with GTA5
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8LMH9UP-XO0

dont expect a lot, but around 5fps more is not bad

i use valves ppa since it was released and had no troubles

As he said in the video description, it's not just 5 fps.

"I finally got off my arse and set up an install to mess around with ACO. The results are rather incredible. The raw FPS increase may seem marginal, but the overall stability and smoothness is much better. Furthermore, there are some areas in the game, mostly interiors, that cause severe stuttering on LLVM, but do not on ACO."
raneon 31 July 2019 at 6:43 pm UTC
ACO is working already now incredibly well. It feels so much smoother. I offen saw micro stuttering with llvm even though framerate was fine. Valve definitly addresses the right issues with ACO!
massatt212 1 August 2019 at 6:10 am UTC
ACO doesn't seem to work on Ubuntu Based OS still stutter a lot (for me)
Just installed Manjaro and make a PKG and waw I mean WAW its really smooth
Idk is anyone else is getting problems with Ubuntu and ACO drivers
x_wing 1 August 2019 at 2:53 pm UTC
mylka
X6205Not sure if i understand this.. It surely looks great, but if shaders are compiled only on first run and Steam client has even his own shader cache for distributing shaders, why they are putting man-hours into this? Does it improve also in-game performace after all shaders are compiled?

he tried it with GTA5
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8LMH9UP-XO0

dont expect a lot, but around 5fps more is not bad

i use valves ppa since it was released and had no troubles

Unfortunately the methodology on the video is wrong, it should be comparing with 19.2-ACO with new compiler enable and disabled (i.e. RADV_PERFTEST=llvm). Not doing that may show performance improvements that are related with performance gains at gallium driver on 19.2.
x_wing 1 August 2019 at 2:54 pm UTC
massatt212ACO doesn't seem to work on Ubuntu Based OS still stutter a lot (for me)
Just installed Manjaro and make a PKG and waw I mean WAW its really smooth
Idk is anyone else is getting problems with Ubuntu and ACO drivers

No problems at all for me.

Worth mention: I compiled them. Maybe is a problem with the ppa version?


Last edited by x_wing at 1 August 2019 at 2:58 pm UTC
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